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Exclusion from School

A decision to exclude a pupil is a very serious one. Only the Headteacher (or, in the absence of the Headteacher or teacher in charge, the most senior teacher who is acting in that role) can exclude a pupil.

The decision to exclude a pupil should only be taken in a response to serious breaches of the school's behaviour policy and if allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school. There will however be exceptional circumstances where, in the Headteacher's judgement it is appropriate to permanently exclude a child for a first or 'one off' offence.

There are two types of exclusion:

  • Fixed Term Exclusions
  • Permanent Exclusions

Fixed Term Exclusion from School

The regulations allow Headteachers to exclude a pupil for one or more fixed term periods not exceeding 45 days in any one school year. The school is obliged to provide education whilst the pupil is on roll. In all cases of more than a day's exclusion, work should be set and marked.

When a Fixed term exclusion is given a letter is sent home stating the reason(s) for the exclusion, the period of the exclusion and the date on which the exclusion begins and ends. The letter should also include the date the pupil is to return to school.

Permanent Exclusion from School

The school Governors must meet to review the decision of the Headteacher to permanently exclude a pupil. The parents will be invited and should attend that meeting, they can also be accompanied. They can make representations on behalf of their child, challenge the school's case and ask whatever questions they want. For all community, voluntary controlled and voluntary aided schools, an officer of the Local Authority may also attend this meeting to ensure that correct procedure is adhered to.  Parents of pupils who have been permanently excluded from Academies can request the an officer from the local authority attends the meeting.

What happens to a pupil once they have been permanently excluded?

Once a child has been permanently excluded, he/she remains on the roll of the school until any review is determined, the time limit for a review has expired without a review being brought, or the parent has told the Local Authority that no review is being brought.

Guidance regarding both permanent and fixed term exclusions is published by the Department for Education 'Exclusion from maintained schools, Academies and pupil referral units in England' (date of issue September 2012). This is the document which Headteachers, Governors and the Local Education Authority use for guidance.

Reviewing the decision

Once a decision has been made to permanently exclude a pupil and subsequently this decision is upheld by the Governor's Discipline Committee the parent/carer will receive a letter form the governors informing them of its decision stating the reasons.

Parents/Carers have 15 school days in which to ask an independent review panel to review the decision.  You should apply for a review, in writing, within 15 school days from the date you receive the decision letter from the governing body.

A meeting will be set up for you with with an independent review panel of three or five people. The review panel must meet no later than the 15th school day after the day on which the request was lodged.

Parents can request that an SEN (special educational needs) expert attends the panel.  The review panel must seek and have regard to the SEN expert's view of how SEN might be relevant to the pupil's exclusion. 

You will lose your right to put your case to an independent review panel if :

  • your request for a review is not received by the expiry date in the letter confirming the decision to uphold the exclusion
  • you inform the Local Authority in writing that you do not wish to request a review

If you have any queries about the exclusion /review process, please telephone the School Organisation Unit on 0161 342 3226 or Democratic Services 0161 342 3562.